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ALABAMA 38, MISSISSIPPI ST 0

11/8/2003

STARKVILLE, Mississippi (Ticker) -- Brodie Croyle threw three
touchdown passes in the first half as Alabama snapped a
four-game Southeastern Conference losing streak with a 38-0 rout
of Mississppi State.

Alabama posted its first shutout in Starkville since 1990 and
sixth overall here. The Crimson Tide were tied with the
Bulldogs for last place in the SEC West but quickly built a big
lead.

Croyle, who completed just 9-of-14 passes, connected with Zach
Fletcher on an 86-yard score less than two minutes into the
game. Just under two minutes later, Alabama (4-6, 2-4 SEC West)
doubled its lead as Croyle found Tyrone Prothro for a 17-yard
TD.

Prothro's TD was set up by a defense that limited the Bulldogs
(2-7, 1-4 SEC West) to just 152 yards and picked off Kevin Fant
twice. Fant's first interception gave the Crimson Tide
excellent field position at the Bulldog 33 and, after Shaud
Williams ran twice, Prothro scored.

Brian Bostick added a 38-yard field goal and Fletcher hauled in
a 32-yard TD pass as Alabama took a 24-0 advantage into the
locker room.

Williams, the SEC's leading rusher, gained 89 yards on 25
carries. He also had a three-yard TD run just 2:10 into the
second half as Alabama posted its most lopsided win under
first-year coach Mike Shula and 70th over the Bulldogs, which is
the school's most against any opponent.

The Bulldogs lost their third in a row since coach Jackie
Sherill announced his retirement. They have been outscored
125-30 since the winningest coach in school history decided to
end his 13-year tenure.

Sherill, who is 75-72-2 with the Bulldogs and 180-117-4 overall,
finishes his career at Tennessee and Arkansas before returning
home to face intrastate rival Mississippi.

Sherill's Bulldogs beat Alabama three straight times from
1996-98 but have lost the last three meetings. They suffered
their first home loss to the Crimson Tied since 1994.

Fant completed 14-of-29 passes but also endured four sacks.